Old tower and surrounding buildings of Pyhäsalmi mine
Pyhäsalmi Mine, the deepest metal mine in Europe (having depth of 1,444 metres or 4,738 feet) is located at the Pyhäjärvi municipality in the south of Oulu province, Finland. The zinc and copper mine is owned by First Quantum Minerals, a Canadian mining corporation.
In 1958 a local farmer discovered gossan ore during a well construction. Shortly after a sample was delivered to Outokumpu Corporation for analysis and a more thorough geological survey was commenced, revealing a rich volcanogenic massive sulfide ore deposit (VMS-deposit) rich in zinc and copper. In 1959 a decision was made to open a new mine in the area and after few years of construction the mine was opened on March 1, 1962.
Pyhäsalmi mine was worked as an open cast pit until 1967, when underground mining operations commenced. In 1975, open cast mining was stopped. During the years the underground mine has been made gradually deeper. The so-called Olli Shaft was completed in 1985, making the mine 730 metres (2,400 ft) deep. New ore was discovered yet deeper, and a depth of 1,050 metres (3,440 ft) was reached in 1996. Later a new shaft, called Timo Shaft was built to exploit the ore deposit between 1,050 and 1,440 metres (3,445 and 4,724 ft). Timo Shaft's construction work completed in 2001. By 2003, 38.2 million tons of ore have been processed, containing 1.2% copper, 3.1% zinc, 0.46 grams per ton of gold and 14.6 grams per ton of silver, 15.6 million tons of ore remained.
- Geological Survey of Finland's exloration info page of Pyhäsalmi Mine, retrieved on 2007-10-14
- Peltoniemi, Juha: Underground Physics in Pyhäsalmi Mine, retrieved on 2007-10-14
- PYHÄSALMI MINE, Informational leaflet, Inmet Mining, 2002(?)
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